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Best stage monitors 2018 – [Buyer’s Guide]Last Updated February 1, 2019
Best stage monitors of 2018
Come with me. Many brands have introduced stage monitors on the market. These brands have resulted in a variety for the user. These require that the consumers be well aware of what they are buying so as to make the best choice. After carefully examining the reviews and ratings of the people who have used them earlier this listicle has been made. The “Total” indicates the overall value of the product.
Test Results and Ratings
Why did this stage monitors win the first place?
I don’t know anything about other models from this brand, but I am fully satisfied with this product. I am very happy with the purchase. It is definitely worth its money. The product is top-notch! I really enjoy the design. It is compact, comfortable and reliable. And it looks amazing! The material is stylish, but it smells for the first couple of days.
Why did this stage monitors come in second place?
Managers explained me all the details about the product range, price, and delivery. This is a pretty decent product that perfectly fitted the interior of our office. The material is pretty strong and easy to wash if needed. I recommend you to consider buying this model, it definitely worth its money.
Why did this stage monitors take third place?
It is inconvenient to use due to the size. I am going to get something different next time. This price is appropriate since the product is very well built. It doesn’t squeaks nor bents. Looks great in my apartment. We are very pleased with the purchase — the product is great!
stage monitors Buyer’s Guide
Powered vs Unpowered
The biggest divide among stage monitors is whether or not they have their own power source included. Every sound source needs to be boosted in strength before the signal hits the speaker in order for it to be loud enough. In an unpowered monitor, the amplifier that provides this boost is sold separately.
There are good options in both categories, although the best powered monitors tend to have better sound quality and durability, as well as portability.
The best match for you depends on a few things, like what you plan to do with the monitor and whether you already own a set of amps, as well as how much money you are willing to spend at one time. Powered monitors are heavier, but unpowered ones require carrying two separate pieces.
Genelec M040 Active 2-Way Monitor
When talking about the monitor manufacturing whether of any type or kind the first name that comes to our mind is Genelec. It has a complete range of products as far as the monitors or the speakers are concerned and that too of top notch quality,В to satisfy all your needs and requirements.
The Genelec M040 Active 2-Way Monitor is also an exceptional product by the Genelec which is specific to studio recording and mixing applications. The company that is renowned for making speakers of all kinds have not let down with this product as well. + It is a near-field studio monitor that is also good for rear uses as well. + Has an extended frequency response so that the sound that you get from the studio monitors is equipped with even the slightest of the details.
Why We Liked It – It is incredibly cheap. It is surprising to see such decent quality in such a low price. Perhaps this is why it is a popular choice for people from varying industries. From radio jockeys to recording artists, everyone seems to find it amazing.
If you are going to go for the high-end models you will be having all the specs and features in the world. The important question that you need to ask yourself here is what is that you are actually looking to get from your studio monitors and what is the nature of your recordings and mixes that you are going to do with the studio monitors that you are going for.
Alto TS 21B-Stock €32 £288.88
For those who want JBL studio monitors for wall or shelf mount, this is a great fit. It is the most recent 150W Pro quality version, of JBL Control Your purchase will also include variable angle wall brackets. This will enable you to use them for multiple purposes and angles.
A high-quality crossover and professional drivers are incorporated into their construction. As a result, you will end up with a faithful sonic performance which is also transparent. These JBL studio monitors also have protection from overloading. A Sonic Guard HF is used to inhibit the overloading.
What to Look for in a DJ Speaker
Passive vs. Active: One of the biggest things to think about is if you want a passive DJ speaker (a.k.a. unpowered), or active (a.k.a. powered). A passive speaker doesn’t output any sound by itself. It requires power from an amplifier, which you’ll need to buy separately. It’s a bit more complicated of a setup, since you need to make sure to match up the amp’s Watts with how much power the speaker cabinet can handle. Passive DJ speakers are significantly less expensive, since they don’t have a power amp built in. An active DJ speaker, on the other hand, has a power amp built into it. That also means the volume and EQ controls are found on the speaker itself. A powered/active speaker is simpler and more convenient, since everything you need to make sound is contained within the speaker (you’ll just need the right audio cable to hook up to it). As a result, it’s pricier. Because of the convenience, all speakers that we recommend in this guide are powered DJ speakers.
Power Rating (Watts): The wattage rating on an active DJ speaker is the power of the internal amplifier. The general rule of thumb is the higher the Watts, the more power (i.e. louder) the speaker can put out. To figure out how many Watts you require, think about two things: 1) how many people you will be DJing for, and 2) what kind of space you will be in. If the space is on the smaller side and indoors, you can get away with less power. However, for an outdoor venue and hundreds of people, you’ll need a speaker capable of reaching everyone. For a small house party with less than 50 people you might only need a 200 Watt speaker. For a dance in a large auditorium filled with hundreds of people, you might need 1000 Watts. All else being equal, we recommend trying to get the most Watts you can for your money.
Woofer Cone Size: The size of the woofer cone is measured in inches, and determines how much low end (i.e. bass) the speaker can handle. For a DJ speaker, the minimum you’ll generally see is an 8” speaker. If you’re playing smaller venues and don’t play bass-heavy music, an 8” speaker will suffice. 10” and 12” will offer a much improved bass response. If you can stretch the budget you can even look into a 15” speaker which will reproduce bass the best. However, around the 10”-12” size, you might think of pairing your DJ speakers with a subwoofer, which will handle bass better than anything else, which will stress your DJ speakers less and leave them to handle the mids and highs.
Subwoofer: Like we just mentioned, you should think about how important bass is in your DJ sets. You could get away with smaller speakers (8” or 12” for example), and pair them up with a subwoofer. That might be just as good – if not better – than a 15” speaker by itself. Then again, buying a subwoofer will increase the cost of your setup, and it’s yet another thing you need to lug around.
Portability: This is an obvious one, but that doesn’t make it any less important! As a mobile DJ, you’ll need to haul your gear to and from gigs. You’ll want to make sure the size and weight of your DJ speaker is something you can handle, and will fit in your vehicle. If the speaker is too heavy or doesn’t have a handle, you might need a dolly to move it around.
Brand & Quality: How reputable a brand is is determined by the quality and value of the products they put out. Luckily we did the homework for you, and the DJ speakers we recommend at the end of this guide are all from quality brands.
Stage monitor designs
Now you know the differences between powered and unpowered monitors, you still have to tackle a few more considerations. One of the most practical among these is the form factor that best suits your monitoring needs.
Here, we’ll take a look at different monitor designs and the situations in which they work best.
A popular, low-profile design for monitoring, stage wedges are a cabinet type that sits on the stage floor and is angled upward toward the performer without blocking the audience’s view. Among the most common monitor designs, the wedge is well suited for situations where each member of a group has a dedicated monitor.
The well-regarded Yamaha SM12V Club Series V Monitor is an example of a compact wedge-style monitor appropriate for individual monitoring applications.
The Yamaha SM12V Club Series V Monitor is a highly respected wedge-style monitor used in many professional venues.
For some players, a monitor mounted on the stage simply doesn’t offer the needed flexibility, clarity or mobility they want. For these performers, in-ear monitors can be an excellent option providing precisely the mix they want.
Built for even and accurate response across frequencies, ear-bud style monitors like the WESTONE UM Pro 30 are becoming a popular option for bands playing venues of all sizes.
The Westone Pro UM 30 is hand-crafted to deliver a broad and even frequency response using three individual drivers with a crossover.
See the complete Musician’s Friend line of In-Ear Monitors.
Shop the complete Musician’s Friend line of In-Ear Wireless Systems.
Side fill monitors
Ideally used as a complement to individual wedge monitors, side fills sit just offstage and deliver a complete mix that the entire group can hear. These speakers offer a fuller mix that can help musicians deliver more solid performances. However, as individual wedge monitors have improved, the need for these more elaborate systems is becoming less common.
As an alternative to the wedge-style monitor that sits on the floor, monitors can be stand mounted. While this may be visually more disruptive, in some monitoring situations—particularly for keyboard players—they may be ideal. Stand-mounted monitors may also make sense in bands where performers share monitors.
The Yamaha BR12M 12” 2-Way Monitor can be used either as a floor wedge or pole mounted monitor for additional versatility.
The Yamaha BR12M 12” 2-Way Monitor is a hybrid wedge-style or pole-mounted monitor with corner protectors and balanced acoustic design.
Specs to consider
You now know the different types of stage monitors and the different designs they come in. However, you still may be wondering about some specifications to help you differentiate between models. Let’s look at some of those specs and what they mean.
Frequency response range
Speakers color the sound of an audio signal based on how they handle different frequencies. In some cases, you can find a frequency response graph showing its comparative output at different frequencies. In other cases, you might simply find descriptions of the speakers’ tonal profile in its features list.
It’s not pleasant to get your new speaker delivered only to realize you don’t have the necessary cables to plug it in. And while it might be tempting to go for the cheapest option for wiring it all up, keep in mind that good cables can go a very long way in sound quality. Musician’s Friend has a full range of affordable, quality speaker cables to choose from online.
Take a look at our Audio Cable Buying Guide for more detailed info.
Monitor and speaker stands
If you will be mounting your monitor, you will need to purchase the mounts along with the speaker in most cases. Musician’s Friend stocks both pole mounts, for a portable solution, and bracket mounts for more permanent fixtures. Check out the full assortment of monitor stands and brackets.
Whether it’s a hand truck to haul your monitors and other gear, earplugs to protect your hearing or gaffer’s tape to keep your cables under control, you’ll find all the critical stage accessories at the Musician’s Friend.
We want you to be pleased with your gear purchase, and we offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee and generous return policy so you can order with confidence.
If you want portability and connectivity, this speaker has a Bluetooth wireless music streaming ability that can work with compatible phones, MPplayers, and tablets.
With the PYLE-PRO PPHP1237UB 12-Inch 900 Watt 2-Way Powered Bluetooth Speaker, you can now play your favorite music coming from your favorite device such as smartphones and tablets or you can stream music from nay Internet radio services like Spotify or Pandora.
Cyber Acoustics 30 Watt Powered Speakers
Cyber Acoustics is known for manufacturing and producing affordable speakers, headphones and other audio equipment and components that are perfect for personal use, at home, schools, or even in offices.
Cyber Acoustics computer speakers have powerful wattage, complete compatibility, easy to use control pod, and many more special features that are really worth your time and money. This is a three-piece speaker system with two satellite speakers and subwoofer. It also has an acoustic balanced wood cabinet subwoofer. Aside from that, you can easily adjust your preferred volume because the Cyber Acoustics 30 Watt Powered Speaker has a desktop control pod that lets you control power, volume, and bass, and has headphone jack and auxiliary input. The Cyber Acoustics 30 Watt Powered Speakers has 110V power only.
The Cyber Acoustics 30 Watt Powered Speaker is famous for having an excellent audio performance recommended to use for gaming, movies, music, and other audio activities.
In addition, the separate control pod included in the Cyber Acoustics 30 Watt Powered Speakers turns the speakers on and off, adjusts master and bass volumes, and also includes headphone jack and aux-in jack, while sporting an LED power indicator. Three-piece 30 watt best powered speakers system with two satellite speakers and a subwoofer.
The JBL brand is known for its mission to turn every moment into extraordinary music experience. So, if you are looking for a trustworthy brand, then the JBL brand is what you are looking for.
The JBL brand has been synonymous with the precise, naturally articulated sound that can be found in many of the world’s most prestigious locations, including cinemas and recording studios, and live-music reinforcement in venues ranging from concert halls to outdoor stadiums and in the home. This brand is known for producing premium products such as speakers, headphones, home audio equipment and many others.
The JBL brand is known for its mission to turn every moment into an extraordinary music experience. So, if you are looking for a trustworthy brand, then the JBL brand is what you are looking for. For many years, this brand has been synonymous with the precise, naturally articulated sound that can be found in many of the world’s most prestigious locations, including cinemas and recording studios, and live-music reinforcement in venues ranging from concert halls to outdoor stadiums and in the home.
This speaker is known for its excellent sound that is recommended for computer audio. It also has a very simple yet elegant appeal which perfectly fits every personal as well as any room décor. The Audioengine A2+ Premium Powered Desktop Speaker has woods as its enclosure material to have its stiffness for its cabinet to focus in producing just the right amount of low end from the tuned front port slots.
What makes this premium best powered speakers versatile is its compatibility with most devices. It works well with USB digital audio and has got a subwoofer output. Aside from that, it is perfectly designed and made for your desktop thus it has integrated USB Dac (built-in digital-to-analog converter) to deliver Hi-Fi sound straight from your computer.So, if you are looking for a best desktop speaker that can produce quality sound across the room to get an immersive experience, this speaker by Audioengine should be right up your alley.
Audioengine is known for creating and innovating audio products with high quality materials and useful functions and features. Their products are based on custom designs with very few off-the-shelf parts. After years of making professional and award-winning monitor computers, Audioengine became a reliable and trustworthy brand when it comes from unique powered consumer speakers that are highly recommended to be used for home and desktop.
The Edifier Studio Series Powered Bookshelf Speaker features a 4-inch bass driver and a calibrated, flared bass reflex port. It offers you robust, rich bass notes that are full of presence and depth.
Aside from that, the Edifier Studio Series Powered Bookshelf Speaker has Digital Signal Processing (DSP) and Dynamic Range Control (DRC) that has the ability to limit the distortion.This bookshelf speaker also has dual RCA inputs for connectivity to multiple audio sources and wireless remote control for volume adjustment and mute option.
If you are looking for a brand that delivers outstanding sound experience for your desktop, whether for professional or personal use, the Edifier powered speaker is arguably the best one out there. Edifier is known for creating and specializing in premium audio solutions that deliver and showcase technological innovation and sophisticated design. Through the years, Edifier is highly recognized as the leader in audio solutions all over the world. Edifier believes in their strong passion for sound which pretty much reflects in their products that never fail to showcase bold design, useful features, and superb audio quality.
Sleek sporty look with a perfect fit, the P28Sport are some new budget kings on the block. Coming in at £24.9they are a huge step up to any headphones that come with a phone.
Offering a well balanced sound with good kick down low, they offer an engaging and fun listening experience when out and about, yet still allow plenty of detail to be heard. From top to bottom there are not real peaks or dips, they have a smooth and easy to listen to sound. What is also great is the inclusion of a microphone and button for taking calls or skipping tracks.
The E10C has tight bass with plenty of weight – the mids are well defined and the top end sparkles. These earphones are perfect for listening on the go as the sound is fun and they will sound great with whatever you throw at them. If you have £40 to spend on some new earphones then go for the SoundMAGIC E– if you need an in-line microphone then go for the E10C. Easy.
MEE Audio MPro
If you are looking for a more detailed and neutral sound than the E10C, take a look at the MEE Audio MPro. With it’s monitor like sound and styling, detachable cable and great looks, it is a steal for under £50.
Well the MPro with Blackbird S20 foam tips may have become a new favourite for under £50. These really managed to have everything and sound very engaging, the highs do not disappoint with their presence and tone, the midrange is slightly up front and the mid bass has a mild boost, as a stage monitor I can see these being good and the sound would be easily tuneable with EQ.
For under £50 you won’t find this level of detail, clarity or separation from another in-ear headphone. Add to that brilliant build quality and you have a winner.
Looking for a more bass oriented in-ear headphone with an upfront and engaging sound, yet without losing out on the finer details and comfort, you need the Oriveti Basic.
A 10mm titanium coated driver supplies an impressive amount of bass. Now I am not much of a bass head but after listening to these for a while I found myself really enjoying them.
Oriveti are new on the scene and they certainly know how to make an entrance. The new Oriveti Basic earphone packs a punch and gives you plenty of features for its modest price tag.
Our top pick for under £500 is the Dunu DK-3001, with impressive technical capabilities that are really enjoyable to listen to as well. Punchy and clear sound with a wide soundstage, these are truly excellent.
The Dunu DK-300is a very well done hybrid IEM, the bass is dynamic and punchy, with excellent and realistic body. The midrange is well layered and very detailed, with a hint of smoothness to it. The highs are always present, yet not fatiguing. These work well with all genres, the bass is fun and energetic in EDM, and rock comes across with detail and layering. Jazz has a very natural tone, and they just take all genres in their stride, however their ability to control heavy metal is truly impressive.
Audeze iSINE 20
If you don’t mind the open back design, the Audeze iSine20 will offer a listening experience more like a full size headphone than an in-ear model.
Offering an open sound with excellent punch the iSine20 offers a relaxing listening experience with slightly polite treble. Keeping in tone with their house sound the iSine20 offers good bass quantity with non-fatiguing treble and a natural tone. This is a very unique IEM that is well worth looking into if you want a more traditional headphone sound. The sound is slightly v-shaped; it’s a warmish, ‘fun’ tuning yet still retains excellent detail retrieval.
IEMs are not just for audiophiles. In fact, they are originally built for artists, music-makers and sound engineers. These two groups provide the brains and talent behind the best sounds for audiophiles to enjoy. It is only fitting that they use a hearing device to determine whether the mixes of the vocals and instrumentals are perfect or not.
Church Sound Systems
The Microphone is the first device in the system to capture a sound source and put it into the sound system. Many different types of mics are available for many different applications. There are mics for Vocals, Instruments, Choirs, Wireless etc.The mic pictured to the left is a Shure SM5which is considered a standard of sorts for vocals and is a true workhorse.
The next component is the Amplifier. These are selected mostly by power and name brand for reliability. The amplifiers should match the speakers in the power rating. Additional power is acceptable but never less. These can and should be located near the speakers and not necessarily near the soundboard. The closer they are to the speakers, the shorter the speaker wires can be and less power is lost due to long speaker wires.
Chorus can be used to make a choir sound fuller, or add depth to an acoustic guitar.
Delay can be used as an effect to make something sound farther away or in a larger space. It can also be used to tame time delays in very long rooms.
Monitor speakers are used to provide sound to the performers and speaker. Monitors come in a variety of sizes. The larger the monitor, the fuller the sound. The smaller monitors can be less conspicuous on stage. In-ear monitors are the least conspicuous. An example of a basic monitor would be a singer who needs to hear their voice and needs to hear the music they are singing with. A floor monitor that the singer stands in front of is a good choice. The size will depend on the need of a good full sound balanced with costs.
The microphone is the first device to capture the source material into the sound system. Using quality microphones makes a very positive difference to the over all system. Vocal microphones should have built in wind screens. Wind screens are not needed for instrument microphones. Pulpit microphones are great for a permanently mounted microphone. They have a very small profile and a huge sound. Choir microphones are similar to pulpit microphones but hang from the ceiling over the choir. Wireless microphone come in hand held and lavaliere types. A minister may want to use a lavaliere wireless so they can be free to move around. These also work well with drama members. A hand held wireless microphone works well soloist, guest singers, or events where the mic needs to be passed around.
MICROPHONES for INSTRUMENTS
Obviously microphones are used for speakers and singers but they are also used for certain instruments. Instruments that may require a microphone include acoustic guitars, guitar amps, piano, drums etc. When you mic an instrument, the position of the microphone will make a big difference. It is usually trial and error to find the best microphone position. In general, positioning the microphone as close as possible to the source is best. The closer the microphone is to the source, the better capture of the source and the better noise rejection of nearby sound sources. Placing the microphone too close to a really loud source could cause distortion. If the source is loud enough to do this, it may not need a mic or the microphone can be placed farther away.
WHEN TO MIC AN INSTRUMENT
Another technique being used is to add an instrument into the sound system to make is quieter. For example, say the electric guitar player tends to play too loud, you can have him or her face their amp to the back of the stage with a microphone on it. This way, the amplifier acts as their monitor and the sound system can put the proper amount of guitar into the mix out front.
The drums can be isolated acoustically with clear plastic dividers and adding microphones behind the plastic allows the sound person to bring just the right amount of drum volume into the mix. This also accounts for the growing popularity of electronic drums, which make no sound outside its electronic outputs connected to speakers.
Each channel has an effects send control (Some have more than one) which allow you to send an amount of each channel to the effects processor. For example, a singers voice may be enhanced by adding a touch of reverb. An acoustic guitar can be enhanced by adding a little chorus. If you have two sends per channel, you could have different effects on each send. Keep in mind that effects are easily over used and not always needed. An example might be when a singer finishes singing and begins to speak, the effects should be muted or greatly reduced. Most effect processors have stereo outputs. Many sound operators like to run the output of the effect to unused channels. This way you have the benefit of tone controls and the ability to send effects to the monitors.
Amplifiers are an essential part of the system. They determine to overall power of the system. The basic specification of an amplifier is the power rating. This rating is usually listed per channel at a certain load (ohms) with a rating in watts. An example is 200 watts RMS per Channel into ohms. A more precise rating would be 200 watts RMS at.1% HD both channels driven into ohms 20hz to 20Khz. This means the amplifier is being tested with both channels running which is the way you will be using it. Also, the.1% Harmonic Distortion means the amp is providing this amount of power at a low distortion level throughout the entire hearing range. The amp should also give a power rating at ohms. This rating should be about 50% higher than the ohm rating. In this example, the ohm rating should be 300 watts.
Single speakers are commonly rated at ohms. If you connect two ohm speakers to one channel of an amplifier, the load changes to ohms. (Parallel resistance divides) So in the above amplifier example, a single speaker would be driven with 200 watts, while two would be driven with 150 watts each. Some amps can certainly go lower than ohms and some even have ratings at ohms. I personally think not going lower than ohms is a good idea. This means not connecting more than two ohm speakers per channel. This may require more amplifiers in the system but it also means not pushing the amps too hard and having the benefit of redundant amp channels.
Effect Processor Tips
If your room has plenty of natural reverb, you may not need any additional reverb from an effects processor. If on the other hand, if you have little natural reverb, then additional reverb may give you a deeper dimension to your sound.
Reverb is also useful in the vocal monitors. Singers tend to sing in a more inspired fashion if they hear themselves with some reverb on their voice.
Chorus effects are used to widen or thicken a sound. Chorus effects shift the pitch of the source in a regular repeating fashion. Some processors will use their stereo outputs to create a stereo sound from a mono source. So chorus may be used to make a mono source sound stereo.
Delay is an effect that simply delays a signal by an adjustable amount. You could even have each output of the processor have a different amount of delay. There is a ping pong delay that bounces back and forth between the outputs. Delay would normally be considered a special effect. An effect that might be used on certain songs or maybe certain instruments on certain songs. This effect is very obvious and can be easily over-used.
Delay can also be used as a tool to help tame long buildings. For example, the sound reaching the rear of a long building will be delayed slightly from the sound leaving the stage. If you placed reinforcement speakers in the rear of the church the sound in those speakers would sound like they were ahead of the sound from the stage causing a delayed effect. By using a delay processor, you could apply an equal amount of delay into the rear speakers that matches the delay from the stage. This way, the sound from the speakers will not sound out of sync with the sound from the stage.
The sound board has inputs labeled as effect returns. Usually you would connect the output of the effect processor into the effect returns. Then, with the return effect volume controls, you can adjust the volume of the effects into the mix. However, many sound professionals prefer to use unused channels as effect returns, rather than the ones provided. This is because with the regular channels, you have all the extra controls such as tone, aux sends, panning, buss assignments etc. An example would be the tone controls. You can adjust the tone of the effects separately from the source. You can also send effects to the monitors by simply adjusting the aux sends on the effects return channels.
Monitors are speakers used on stage for the performers. Ideally, each performer might have his or her own monitor. In reality, this would be a lot of speakers and some sharing is usually employed.
Monitors help the performers hear themselves and each other. Setting up a good monitor system can be harder than setting up the mains. In designing a monitor system you must decide how many monitors you will use and how many monitor mixes will be needed. Each separate mix will need a separate EQ and amp. Different mixes refers to having different material in different speakers.
For example, the singers may want primarily to hear themselves and a little guitar or keyboard. There will be plenty of drums and bass right on the stage and may not be necessary to put those into the monitors. The guitar player will want plenty of guitar and maybe keyboards plus vocals. These are different mixes that can be realized by how many aux sends your board has.
I have worked with three monitor mixes. We had a vocal mix. We had a different vocal mix. And we had a vocal plus instruments mix. Understand that the more mixes you have, the more complicated it is to run the monitors. There is certainly a good argument for keeping it simple. Still, two mixes is more flexible than one.
A typical setup for PA speakers is two speakers placed up high for good coverage, placing them in front of the most forward microphone to reduce feedback. They are usually located one on each side of the stage or hanging from the ceiling in the center. Recently trends are to hang them in the center. This way, you can run your system in stereo and still have the proper mix no matter where you sit.
DO YOUR HOMEWORK
First and foremost, a live band is a live band, not a group of live sound engineers. That’s why your best weapon against bad monitor mixes is a great rapport with a venue’s soundman — or soundmen, if front-of-house and monitor engineers are available. Just as you would prefer to perform flawlessly and sound great, so would they. But without monitor mix input from the band — which, according to Parker, is too often provided sparingly — they have nothing to work from.
If every moment before a gig is consumed by bandmembers’ gear wrangling and performance preparation, developing a line of communication with a venue’s engineer may require an official band representative (a nonmember, of course) to deal with the issue of overall sound. “If you have a friend that knows a little bit about sound, you might want to start bringing them along to gigs,” explains Durkee. “Having someone that can take the monitoring headache away — someone that will coordinate with the venue’s soundman to make sure the band gets what they need — is indispensable.
The first stage of a regulator for scuba diving is designed to reduce the air pressure from the tank into a more manageable pressure that can be used in flexible hoses. This pressure level is called intermediate pressure.
There are some differences in first stages when you’re looking to buy. Here’s an overview of what you have to consider and what the different options mean for you.
DIN vs. Yoke
Your first consideration is the type of how you attach your first stage to your tank. Many regulators are available as either DIN or yoke.
A DIN first stage screw directly into the tank valve. This is the safest way to connect your first stage to a tank valve. Not only does it sit safely due to being screwed in but it also restricts any movement of the high-pressure O-ring seal that prevents air from escaping. This system is mostly used by technical divers as it can handle higher tank pressures.
The yoke system is somewhat simpler but fully sufficient for recreational diving. In this setup the regulator is slipped over the top of the valve and then secured and held in place with a large bolt. It’s somewhat easier to handle and safe to use in recreational diving.
Most tanks that you can rent will have a yoke attachment. A DIN regulator requires a compatible tank and not all dive shops have them. However, if you have a DIN regulator you can get a simple and low-cost adapter to convert it to a yoke system if the tank does not allow to use a DIN regulator.
Diaphragm vs. Piston
Yet again there are two different types of setups that are used to connect the high pressure air into lower pressure for the second stage regulator and other attachments. Both setups work fine for most recreational diving.
Piston regulators are overall simpler as they have a minimal amount of moving parts. This enhances the durability and reduces maintenance costs. However, most of these first stage regulators allow water into them and as such you have a higher level of care after a dive to keep them clean and prevent corrosion.
Diaphragm regulators have more moving components and usually are not as durable as piston regulators. However, they are much cheaper to manufacture which usually results in a lower price for you.
They come in two different flavors. You can get them either as environmentally sealed or unsealed. If you only dive in the tropics then an unsealed regulator is perfectly fine. If you want to mix up your dive environments then you’re better off using an environmentally sealed setup.
Number of Connection Ports
Most modern first stage regulators will have enough ports to allow you to connect your second stage, your gauge or computer and your BCD as well as a port for the octopus regulator if needed.
The purge button is there to allow you to clear your regulator. Pressing it forces the water out of the second stage so you can breathe easily.
You want to make sure that your regulator has a large enough purge button so that you can conveniently press it when needed. If the button is too small then you might have to fumble trying to press it if you’re wearing dive gloves.
You can often find a number of controls on your regulator. First, you can have the possibility to adjust the air flow so you can fine tune the amount of air being delivered for your breathing. This is helpful when you dive deeper as it allows to make sure that you can comfortably breathe.
Another adjustment that is commonly found is to be able to set the regulator into ‘dive mode’. If you switch this mode off while you’re above the surface then it prevents air to free flow. It’s harder to breathe in that case but you’re not wasting air.
These adjustment controls are in most circumstances ‘nice-to-have’ features that you can live without especially if you’re recreationally diving.
The weight of the second stage can be of importance to you. It’s the piece of equipment that you hold with your mouth and teeth and it can over time cause fatigue of the jaw.
Overall, the second stage is of neutral buoyancy and as such the weight under water should be of limited concern. However, above water a heavy regulator can be somewhat tedious to wear and deal with.
The mouth piece must fit comfortable. Most modern second stage regulators have ergonomically shaped mouth pieces and as such you should be fine.
Hose to Connect First and Second Stage
This is usually a medium pressure hose that is used to connect the two stages. For many years the only available option you had was a rubber hose.
In the last few years many manufacturers started to provide braided hoses. However, there has been a few instances where these types of hoses had to be recalled and as such divers today still tend to prefer a rubber hose.
A braided hose has some advantages though. They are usually lighter and more flexible and as such more convenient to deal with. A new braided hose should also be more durable than a rubber hose.
This type of hose connects the first stage to your BCD. You’ll need this link in order to be able to regulate your buoyancy through your BCD. You can either get a rubber hose or braided hoses which are lightweight and bendable.
Some BCD’s come with an octo regulator built into the inflator. In that case you will usually require a special connector. You want to be aware of that when ordering your hoses.
You are going to want to check out as many companies as possible. Read reviews where you can and base your choice as much on the companies track record of delivering the earphones as well as sound. Some companies have a great reputation and others don’t but off the top of my head here are some that I have personally had experience with or who I know from word of mouth offer a good service.
Noble Audio: Home of “The Wizard” offering some of the most advanced designs on the market.
Ultimate Ears: The legendary UERM can be picked up here. I own them and they are still incredible at resolving detail even years after release. Perfect for critical listening.
Cosmic Ears: Stunning design and an incredibly comprehensive lineup of products to suit differnt tastes and budgets.
Custom Ear Impressions
The audiologist will inject some quick setting resin into your ears past the second bend in your canal. It feels a little weird but strangely, it’s not unpleasant. Your impressions will then be sent to the company of your choosing and the waiting begins.
This is the part that sucks. Some companies have a quick turn around time and others can take months to send you your earphones. There is also no guarantee that the earphones will fit perfectly first try so be prepared to potentially send them back a few times for refinements to the shell.
The Cosmic Ears CE6P custom earphones with gold leaf faceplate.
Some companies like Cosmic Ears and Noble Audio even go above and beyond. They almost turning their creations into works and offer some truly stunning designs.
You can also customise your cables with a range of aftermarket options in all sorts of braid patterns and colours from companies like Labkable and Double Helix.
Whatever your style I’m sure there is something you can think of that will suit your tastes and that there is a company out there that can build it.
The depth of insertion, airtight seal and the fact that custom monitors cover the vast majority of the outer ear all work together to block you off from the outside world.
For those of you particularly interested in using custom in-ear monitors as noise isolating earphones then look into silicone moulded earbuds like those offered by Custom Art. Silicone is usually filled instead of hollow like traditional acrylic monitors so they should be able to provide a further reduction to those external decibels reaching your ear drums.
My own Minerva custom in ear monitors with a custom Blue Horizon cable from Labkable.
It doesn’t stop at drivers though because custom earphone companies are also able to tune their monitors through the use of filters and adjustable ports. When it comes to sound quality if you have the money, custom monitors can deliver in a big way.
Tailored & customised Service
You will also find that a lot of companies can set you up with various custom cables as well as accessories such as custom pelican cases, jacks and splitters. In this sense, you get a lot more say in how your earphones turn up than if you were to buy an off the shelf model.
Samson’s RSXM12A 2-Way Active Stage Monitor brings exceptional monitoring versatility, ultra-efficient Class D power and the durability of all-wood cabinet construction to touring musicians/DJs, front-of-house engineers and live sound professionals.
Designed to bring professional performance to a variety of monitoring applications, including keyboards and electronic drums, the RSXM12A is also convenient for DJs needing a dedicated monitor while working in a compact booth. A single XLR-1/4″ combo input is provided, along with an XLR Link output for system expansion. In addition, the RSXM12A includes a powder coated steel grill and two integrated side carry handles, making it durable, yet highly portable for use on the road.
RHA is just one of the companies that have perfected the art of in-ear monitors, their monitors have been around for years, and the T series is known for being one of the best. Although RHA can be classified as pricier than the rest of the in ear monitors, they justify the price by delivering some great features.
Today, we are going to be looking at their latest and greatest; the RHA T10; for those who don’t know, the T10s are basically the third iteration in the series that has enjoyed quite a lot of success. For starters, you are getting the same amazing sweat proof design and some nice upgrades.
This in-ear monitor provides impressive noise cancellation; In addition to that, you should also know that it provides interchangeable tuning filters, allowing you to alter its sound signature on the go.
All in all, the RHA Tis a wonderfully made in-ear monitor that gets the job done in more ways than one; they sound wonderful, and they’re really easy to carry.
RHA Tis constructed using metal injection moulding (MIM). MIM is a new technology in headphones but is well-established as an effective way of producing intricately shaped metal components that are too complex to create using traditional manufacturing methods.
Overall, the built quality it offers is nowhere to be found from any other brand.Needless to say, RHA has done a great job.RHA T10 by far is the best in ear monitor for drummers. The only complaint we have is that it comes with non-detachable cable.
Things you should look in Ear Monitors
Now that you have taken a look at all the major benefits of buying in ear monitors.
We can start and look at some of the actual things that you should look for in the best in ear monitors for drummers.
In all honesty, buying a pair of in ear monitors for drummers isn’t all that difficult.
Especially if you are someone who has bought these in the past… However, if you are someone who’s relatively new to the field of in ear monitors for drummers, then you should know that there is quite a bit of struggle.
Make sure you get a professional In-Ear monitors.
You definitely wouldn’t want your earbud to break in the middle of a concert. Every in ear monitor in our list is highly durable and sweat resistant.
Make sure your in ear monitor is made of aluminum or high-density plastic construction.
When it comes to powered speakers, there’s a tough balance between sound quality and price point. “You get what you pay for” is almost all too common in the pro audio world. But if you’re looking for an affordable speaker that sounds fantastic, look no further than the ZLX-15P. The digital DSP is just the first “mind-blown” thought you’ll have, while the Class D amplifier truly gives you an enjoyable sound. Weighing in at just 3pounds, the ZLX 15” is extremely lightweight and portable.
The RCF Evox 1system has been making noise, both with oustomers and all over social media. The “column-style” system features a 90-DEGREE horizontal pattern and 1400-watts of power, making it the best powered speaker for most weddings and events.
Electro-Voice definitely dominates our latest “Best Powered Speakers” list this year, The ZLX-12P offers the same digital DSP as the 15” version, just in a more compact solution. You’ll still find the same great sound at an even better price point with this choice, but amplification is still the same.
JBL Professional EON612
The return of the EON series brought us a revamped speaker with sound quality that far exceeds previous generations, while still keeping a solid price point. At 3pounds, it’s also yet another lightweight speaker, bringing you maximum portability. Now, with added Bluetooth technology, you can connect any Bluetooth enabled device for those cocktail hours and between sets. True versatility, portability, and price point have been delivered by JBL Professional.
Studio monitor glossary
This guide will help you answer these and other questions so you can find the right set of monitors for your recording needs and budget.
Numbers and specifications
These specs theoretically provide a thumbnail sketch of how the monitor will perform during recording, mixing, and mastering. Some specs are the result of tests conducted by the manufacturer to determine the performance of their products.
While specifications are helpful, keep in mind that the tests that determine specs often are not standardized, so one manufacturer’s 0.01% THD may be another’s 0.3% THD. The information is still useful to you as a prospective buyer as long as you recognize that specs are just a starting point. Ultimately, you have to trust your ears—and those of gear reviewers and fellow musicians. There’s no substitute for careful, critical listening. Reading reviews both by experts and users can help you hone in on your best options.
Since you want accuracy from your monitors, one of the first things you will want to confirm is that they can handle the full frequency range of your recordings. Most monitor specs list the lowest frequency they handle in Hz (hertz) and the highest frequency in kHz (kilohertz). For most recording work a frequency response of 50Hz-20kHz is adequate. As we’ll discuss a little later, the overall frequency range may be a little less critical than the monitor’s ability to reproduce all those frequencies without distortion or variations.
Musicians on tight monitor budgets give the JBL LSR 30high marks for its accurate and powerful output.
You want to see an indication of how much variation there will be across the frequency range. This is expressed in decibels. So, for instance, if a monitor’s frequency range spec is listed as 40Hz-21kHz ± 2dB, that indicates that some frequencies may be louder or softer by as much as decibels at various points across the full range.
For most applications, a rating of ± dB or less will provide well balanced sound.
If you work with bass-heavy music such as hip-hop or EDM, or work with 5.or 7.surround sound mixes, you might want to consider a studio subwoofer, which will handle frequencies down to 30Hz or lower.
The JBL LSR310S Studio Subwoofer reaches way down to 27Hz to help you mix your low-frequency material with accuracy.
Charles Sprinkle of JBL offers a rundown of the LSR310’s powerful performance.
While it’s usually not as much of a concern for studio situations, the power of your studio monitors, measured in watts, might be a specification to consider particularly for larger rooms or studios. Generally, 10-60 watts should be plenty for a bedroom or home office-sized studio. Larger rooms and mid-sized studios may require more than that. With powered monitors that contain their own onboard amplifiers, manufacturers match wattage to each driver for optimal performance across the driver’s frequency range.
A well designed studio monitor cabinet gets maximum performance from its drivers. Engineers design the cabinet around the driver. It should be as non-resonant as possible so the cabinet doesn’t alter or color the output in any way. For that reason, monitor cabinets are usually built from sturdy, stiff materials such as metal or dense plastics with internal bracing and specially designed joints to eliminate unwanted resonance.
Aside from deciding whether you need a powered or unpowered monitor (more on that below), your main concern should be the types of connections it has. Check the inputs offered by the monitor to make sure they will work with your existing equipment. For connections, monitors usually have 1/4″, TRS, XLR, RCA, or S/PDIF jacks. Some offer only unbalanced or balanced inputs, and some have both.
Improve your connections IQ with our Cable Buying Guide.
Powered Studio Monitors
Powered studio monitors, sometimes referred to as active monitors, are by far the most popular choice for project and home studios. By housing their own amplifiers they eliminate the need for an external amp to drive them. Many are bi-amplified—each speaker has its own dedicated power amp designed to handle its frequency range, thus allowing the speaker to function optimally.
The Yamaha HSPowered Studio Monitor uses bi-amplification to individually power the low- and high-frequency drivers.
Take a quick video tour of Yamaha’s HS Series studio monitors.
Unpowered Studio Monitors
While they don’t offer the convenience of powered units, unpowered studio monitors, also called passive monitors, have their own advantages. Because they require a separate, external power amp, these monitors gives you some flexibility in choosing your components and setting up multi-speaker arrays. They also usually have crossover circuitry for splitting of high and low frequencies.
Additionally, for those who already have a power amplifier for their studio, unpowered speakers may offer a price advantage since their cost does not factor in an onboard amp.
The unpowered Avantone Mixcube is a popular choice for determining how your music will sound when played back on smaller, consumer-grade audio equipment.
Studio Monitor Volume Controllers
If you are serious about getting great sound from your mix, you may have multiple monitor pairs set up in your studio. You might use both mid- and near-field monitors in your home studio for different points of reference. Or maybe you want to switch from the accuracy of your studio monitors to see how your recording will sound on a consumer-grade stereo system.
If any of these situations apply to you, you’ll want a good studio volume controller that will let you quickly and easily balance levels between monitors and switch between speaker sets. Make sure you find one that will accommodate the number of speaker outputs you’ll need. And if you will be switching between audio sources, make sure the controller has this capability built in as well. You’ll find a number of monitor controller options here.
The Mackie Big Knob Passive Monitor Controller is a control room tool that combines level control, monitor switching, and source selection, and includes talkback functions.
First of all thanks for reading my article to the end! I hope you find my reviews listed here useful and that it allows you to make a proper comparison of what is best to fit your needs and budget. Don’t be afraid to try more than one product if your first pick doesn’t do the trick.
Most important, have fun and choose your stage monitors wisely! Good luck!
So, TOP3 of stage monitors
- №1 — Seismic Audio – FL-12MPPKG1 – Pair of 12 Inch Wedge Floor or Stage Monitors
- №2 — Seismic Audio – Pair of 10″ Wedge Style FLOOR MONITORS – Studio
- №3 — BEHRINGER EUROLIVE VS1220F